When football season closes, it takes some time for Buchholz’s Trent Whittemore to switch into basketball mode, usually two to three weeks.
“January is when you start feeling comfortable,” he said.
Same goes for Nick Baskin of Saint Francis, who goes from quarterback of the Wolves football team to the quarterback of the basketball team.
By that time, while Whittemore and Baskin are breaking into hoops, The Rock’s Bryan Greenlee is well into a challenging schedule that includes such hoop national heavyweights as Montverde Academy.
For their outstanding accomplishments, Whittemore has been named The Sun’s Big School Boys Basketball Player of the Year, and Baskin and Greenlee are named The Sun’s Small School Co-Players of the Year.
Whittemore, a 6-foot-3 guard for the Bobcats, averaged 21.3 points per game, along with 4.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals, and reached 1,061 career points.
A football commit to UF as a defensive back, Whittemore stepped in when quarterback Cam Orth got hurt early in the season, taking over those duties for much of the season and getting the Bobcats into the state playoffs.
“I still enjoy basketball but I focus more on football during the offseason,” Whittemore said. “It might take two to three weeks. You will have some games where your shots don’t feel right.
“I think I played pretty well. I scored well. Probably could have had less turnovers. We struggled to be consistent offensively throughout four quarters. That was our biggest downfall.”
Baskin, a versatile quarterback who led Saint Francis to its first state playoff in football in the fall, had his third new coach in four years with Isaac Selva taking over for Billy Donovan III, who left to join NBA’s G-League.
“It was shocking, I didn’t expect it, but I understand why,” Baskin said. “Second half of the season we became more connected and we started beating tougher opponents.”
Baskin averaged 15.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists for 13-14 Wolves, who won District 2-3A. Saint Francis fell at FAMU in Tallahassee, 62-55 in the 3A regional finals.
“We had a great run this year, we had a chance but just fell short,” the senior said.
With the departure of huge recruit Darius Days to another school, Greenlee knew someone would need had to step up for The Rock.
“Beginning of the year, not too many people thought we would make state, especially after losing Darius (Days),” Greenlee said. “I think we proved a lot of people wrong.
“Our guys worked hard throughout the season. We won a lot more games than expected.”
Greenlee, a junior, averaged 15.1 points, 3.4 rebonds, 2.1 steals and 4.9 assists for the 28-10 Lions, who captured the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association title.
“We definitely had a great season,” he said. “It was a long season and the schedule can be a grind. But I enjoy traveling.”